Gonzalo Higuain is the latest striker to wear the no.9 jersey at Stamford Bridge, a jersey number many fans believe is cursed.
Chelsea legend and assistant coach Gianfranco Zola has urged Higuain to study the weaknesses in the Premier League, never underestimate opponents and have an open mind if he is to succeed at Chelsea.
“It will be very important. What I always thought when I first came over here was to read the league, read the weaknesses of the league, but also the potentials, don’t underestimate and have an open mind,” Zola said.
“That’s what allowed me to get into the system quickly. With him it’s going to be the same. I’m sure he’s going to be looking at defenders, saying ‘oh those defenders tactically make some mistakes’, which is true sometimes. The intensity and the physicality of the game you have here, I’m sure he’ll be studying it, reading the situations and using his ability to get the goals that we need.
“He’s coming late, but he’s coming in a team that plays a system he knows very well, so this is a big advantage. Here there are the type of players will help him to do what he can do best.
“The conditions are good. There is no problem there. Simple as that.”
Zola also admitted pressure is on Higuain to succeed at Chelsea and he believes the striker is used to playing under pressure after playing for clubs like Real Madrid and Juventus.
“I’m sure there are big expectations. I’m also sure Gonzalo is used to it,” Zola added.
“He’s played for big clubs. Real Madrid, Juventus, Napoli. I’m sure he can handle these expectations. He’s always produced good numbers wherever he’s been.
“This is not a team that is desperate. It’s a team that needs to add certain qualities to what it already has. We’re going to help Higuain to get his goals, but also Higuain will help the team if he scores.”
Asked if Higuain will succeed in the Premier League, Zola replied: “It is exactly the same questions they posed when I came over here. It is the same question you pose when players come here.
“Yes, we know he’s coming from a different league, maybe a league where the intensity and rhythms are lower than the Premier League, but we’re talking about a player who has scored not only in Italy, but everywhere, also in the Champions League.
“We are talking about a top player. I’m confident he can give something to the team and that the team will give him something. There is a lot of positive things that can happen.”